Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Anderson Valley Brewing Company

Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
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Anderson Valley Brewing Company
California, United States
Winter Warmer
Ranked #37
Ranked #17,796
3.87 | pDev: 13.7%
Jan 21, 2023
Nov 18, 2001
Very Good
Winter Solstice Seasonal AleWinter Solstice Seasonal Ale
Notes: Winter Solstice® is our take on the classic style of “winter warmer.” Boasting a deep amber hue and rich mouthfeel, its creamy finish will lift your spirits. Hints of toffee, spice, and caramel tease the senses making this the perfect ale to share with friends and family during the cold days and long nights of winter.
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Rated: 3.83 by beaulabauve from Louisiana

Jan 21, 2023
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Reviewed by crm871 from Utah

3.71/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
Look: Pours a deep burgundy with a medium white head.

Smell: I’m sensing malt, caramel, toffee, molasses.

Taste: Pretty forward on the malts and caramel but for me it worked. Not a super complex flavor, and I think it would have been better with some attempts at holiday spices , but solid flavor.

Feel: Light and easy, appropriate carbonation.

Overall: There are better holiday beers that are flashier, but this is a solid and enjoyable one at a lower price point.
Jan 02, 2023
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Reviewed by DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

3.03/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3
From a 12oz can dated "21333" into a pint glass. So, if this is julian date. this is from 2021. May have gotten snookered on this one in the mix-a-six...

Pours a murky copper color with about two fingers of off-white head that dissipates quickly leaving very little lacing. Color is like a penny that isn't shiny any more.

Cinnamon, caramel and light pine on the nose.

Taste is non-distinct. Kind of a bready, malty, sweet-ish mess.

Lightly sticky, medium to full-bodied mouthfeel. Baking spice aftertaste. Low carbonation.

Well, it might be old beer. Don't know for sure based on the goofy date code. It's drinkable. I guess. If this is fresh, it's not so good.
Dec 31, 2022
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Reviewed by WayneManor from Washington

3.76/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
Look: Caramel, transluscent, a little hazy. Not much head
Smell: Caramel. Not a strong smell
Taste: Wow good yeast flavor almost like a trappist beer
Feel: Perfect level of carbonation for me
Overall: Solid Beer. Bahl Hornin"
Dec 16, 2022
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Reviewed by BillAfromSoCal from California

3.62/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
Caramel color, a finger of short-lived head with very little lacing. No haze, very clear. Fine carbonation rising. Caramel malts on nose and taste. To me this is a nice amber ale but I am not picking up anything that screams "seasonal ale". Somewhat of a one trick pony (caramel) which I don't find impressive since the can states " natural flavor added". I'm not getting any "seasonal" spices that I associate with the winter solstice.
Dec 13, 2022
Rated: 2.72 by bendukes86 from South Carolina

Dec 05, 2022
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Reviewed by Mindcrime1000 from South Dakota

3.67/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
Pours light amber with a decent foamy tan head. Modest lacing.

Aromas of caramel, toast, cardamom, and nutmeg. A touch of dark fruit.

The flavors are pretty complex. Skewed a little sweet, even for the style, but not cloying. It's sort of like a Festbier, with lightly toasted malts and modest but balancing grass hops, amped and mashed up with dark fruits and some judicious spice plus some earthy hop notes.

Medium bodied. Good carbonation and remarkably drinkable. Not a repeater, but it doesn't demand a sipping approach either.

A sneaky good winter warmer.
Nov 13, 2022
Rated: 4.09 by Hophazzard from California

Nov 05, 2022
Rated: 3.75 by MonkeyPilates from Minnesota

Apr 12, 2022
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Reviewed by trevormajor from Ohio

4.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
12 oz can, vintage 2021, poured into an Untappd Snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - amber/caramel in color with a light tan head that lingered
S - biscuit, lemon zest
T - sweet and malty, with a mild biscuit flavor
F - medium mouthfeel and carbonation
O - very nice for a winter warmer, not spicy in the traditional way
Mar 14, 2022
Rated: 3.78 by jason_nwx from Oregon

Feb 28, 2022
Rated: 4.08 by chrishiker1409 from New York

Feb 12, 2022
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Reviewed by GStone899 from Minnesota

3.87/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a deep amber. Very malty and pleasant on the pallet. Dark fruits along with caramel, cinnamon and a slight nutmeg taste tickle the taste buds. Not much head on the pour straight from the can to a pint glass. Really a nice change of pace peer from an IPA and a nice winter brew.
Feb 05, 2022
Rated: 3.29 by Pens1866 from Pennsylvania

Jan 15, 2022
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Reviewed by MaltsOfGlory from Oregon

3.74/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75
12oz can

Pours a solid finger of dense, creamy tan head into my nitro glass. Retention is average and the head fades within a couple minutes, leaving a nice film. Initial lacing looks great. Body is on the lighter side for a winter warmer - a dark shade of amber, with low visibility. Looks pretty nice so far.

The nose isn’t really up to par with some of the great malty winter beers I’ve been having as of late. There is some caramel, maybe faint bread, but then it just kinda falls off. Some spice and maybe some stone fruit eventually come out. It grows on me a little bit, but I wouldn’t say the depth in malt is sufficient enough for me, at least on the nose.

Flavor surprisingly goes in the other direction, the malt actually might be too much. I would have guessed Maris Otter with this huge malt presence, but the internet says it’s Crystal malt, which would explain the massive presence of dates. Caramel as well. This kinda drinks like fruit cake, and I’m not really about that. I’m spoiled here in the NW where we always use a sufficient amount of hops, regardless of the style, and because of that the winter warmers I’m used to drinking are far more balanced than this. Hops aside, there is more Crystal malt here than most any beer would want or need. All things considered, this is still pretty enjoyable, especially once the palate adjusts, but it’s certainly inferior to other examples.

Carbonation leans towards the lower side, but it’s not flat or under carbed. Pretty full bodied, with a questionable sweetness that is slightly cloying - that crystal is intense. Bitterness is low. Mouthfeel is ok, but it’s definitely a little sweet at times.

Drinkability isn’t bad, but I certainly find myself sipping this due to the aggressive sugar level.

Appearance turned out quite nice. Lacing was pretty good, and the film of foam acted more like a sliver of head the longer and longer it lasted.

Overall a nice beer that I can enjoy, but definitely a little unbalanced, with a slightly cloying sweetness and a huge date flavor that enforces that sweetness.
Jan 13, 2022
Rated: 3.9 by Gagnonsux from Texas

Dec 26, 2021
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Reviewed by jkblr from Indiana

3.79/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75
12oz can stamped 21 270 (about 3 months old) poured into a tulip glass at fridge temp 6.9% ABV. The beer pours opaque amber in color with khaki head. The head recedes to a thin ring and single layer of bubbles leaving web like lacing. The aroma is mild with toffee and spice. The taste is semisweet toffee and burnt sugar caramel with significant spice impact. Almost like a pumpkinless pumpkin beer. Minimal bitterness with the spices balancing the malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with average carbonation and a mostly dry finish. Overall, good.
Dec 24, 2021
Rated: 4 by BrentMcQuirk from Texas

Dec 22, 2021
Rated: 3.77 by Rainintheface from Florida

Dec 21, 2021
Rated: 4.35 by Anacross from Oregon

Dec 20, 2021
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Reviewed by Historiker from Ohio

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25
Poured a pleasant but somewhat hazy amber color with about an inch of quickly dissipating head.

Smell is very nice. Sweet malts, caramel, a hint of toffee, as well as figs and apricot.

Taste follows the nose, but with the addition of just a touch of spice. Thankfully, this isn't a brew that needs spice to cover up inadequacies. The flavor profile is wonderful, and the light presence of seasonal spices is just right.

Mouthfeel is very nice. When Anderson said creamy, they weren't kidding. This beer is a joy to drink. Smooth, creamy, mild carbonation.

Overall, this is a wonderful brew that fits very nicely within the realm of Winter Warmer without trying to be a spiced up Christmas Beer. There are lots of winter brews that I'm happy to drink one of each year. I could get several cans of this one and easily enjoy it all winter long.
Dec 12, 2021
Rated: 3.75 by KT3418 from Colorado

Dec 02, 2021
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Reviewed by Sigmund from Norway

3.43/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25
355 ml bottle, Cardinal Pub & Bar, Stavanger. ABV is 6.9%. Brown colour, large off-white head. Nice aroma of malts (including some caramel) and mild spices, including cinnamon. Also some fruity notes (blackcurrants and ripe blackberries). None of the aroma elements are overdone. The flavour is first fruity (hints of blackcurrants and blackberries again) and malty with some caramel, but not too sweet. The Christmas spices come through more distinctly, but not sharp. The bittering hops are very moderate (too moderate for my taste), probably making the beer palatable for people who don’t fancy AVBC’s hoppier beers. Easy drinking, and does not taste as strong as it is.
May 03, 2021
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Reviewed by HipCzech from California

3.99/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Serving: 12 oz can poured into a 9 oz Libbey Embassy snifter.

Appearance: Deep, clear, medium amber with a proud head of off white bubbles and full, intricate.

Smell: Vanilla, burnt sugar and toasted bread.

Taste: Roasted marshmallows, caramel and winter spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove) round out a toasted malt body.

Mouthfeel: Medium body, rich feel and moderate carbonation.

Overall: A rich and malty ale with burnt sugar and roasted malt notes that hint of s’mores.
Dec 25, 2020
Rated: 3.96 by shreead from Michigan

Dec 09, 2020
Rated: 3.9 by avisong from Virginia

Dec 05, 2020
Rated: 3.94 by TheCakePounder from Pennsylvania

Nov 27, 2020
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.53/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
12oz can from Boise Coop. Well out of season but this is one I've been looking for. Light amber pour, medium foamy head. Toasty caramel aroma with a hint of chai spice. Taste is more caramel, some light leathery and tobacco notes, and finishes with a bit of dryness. Not overly "winter-y", just a solid malty brew.
Jun 06, 2020
Rated: 3.92 by Jjl329 from California

Mar 14, 2020
Rated: 4.1 by Corkykab from New Jersey

Mar 02, 2020
Rated: 3.75 by StrangerTides from New York

Feb 05, 2020
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Reviewed by janubio from Spain

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Bottle at Las Buenas Pulgas, served in an Anderson Valley glass.
Pours amber-reddish colour, medium head and retention, creamy lacing.
Aroma of caramel, berries, figs, dried fruits.
Medium body, creamy texture, good carbonation. Sweet finish.
Taste of caramel, dried fruits, malts, berries, dates, figs.
Very good. ,
Jan 29, 2020
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Reviewed by jmc65267 from Georgia

3.48/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5
It was fine. I think I went in with too high of expectations. I got it in a mix and match six pack and it is still a good selection but I wouldn’t get it on purpose.
Jan 18, 2020
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Reviewed by LifesAnesthesia from Virginia

4.3/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
L - Amber with a slight amount of clarity with a creamy light tan head that sticks around leaving behind some lacing.
S - Tons of winter spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves as well as caramel and toffee.
T - Follows the nose with a solid amount of winter spices - nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom along with caramel, toffee, toasted malt, vanilla.
F - Medium bodied with a light to moderate amount of carbonation - somewhat watery on the very back end
O - A really nice winter warmer -
Jan 12, 2020
Rated: 3.92 by Trueprinceofgotham from California

Dec 26, 2019
Rated: 3.91 by Cuervo_PCB from Florida

Dec 22, 2019
Rated: 3.5 by VTbrewfan from New Hampshire

Dec 21, 2019
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Reviewed by JayDubTrub from California

4.22/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25
Really enjoyed this (2019). The aroma is the highlight - Carmel, vanilla, spice, toffee and enough alcohol for backbone. If you want to taste all the flavors in a barley wine often buried by booze, enjoy this lower abv by Avbc.
Dec 19, 2019
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Rated by takusan1000 from Washington

2.75/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75
Tastes rather artificial to me
Dec 17, 2019
Winter Solstice Seasonal Ale from Anderson Valley Brewing Company
Beer rating: 87 out of 100 with 1916 ratings